A much less nerve-racking scene surrounded
A year ago, an eager crowd filled the Coliseum to see the Rams play the Cowboys in the first
Goff came off the bench and played two forgettable series
"There was 90,000 people at a preseason game, so I was a little wide-eyed at first," Goff recalled this week.
He looked more relaxed Saturday. He again played only two series but this time produced a touchdown in the Rams' 2017 preseason opener, a 13-10 victory over the Cowboys in a stadium that featured large swaths of empty seats.
"Just like any other game, you take good things from it and you take bad things from it and you learn from it and get better," Goff said. "Especially, preseason [game] 1. Our first time back out there."
New coach Sean McVay saw some bright spots and some areas of concern in his first game.
On offense, Goff avoided turnovers and sacks and two rookies, receiver
A Rams defense without several starters, among them linebackers
"We'll take the win however we can get it," McVay said. "Certainly, there's going to be a lot of things that we've got to clean up but I thought it was a great opportunity to get out in front of our fans and come away with a win."
McVay spent several seasons as the
"The one thing that I'm going to have to continue to get used to is the transition between offensive series," he said. "Where you're kind of getting some thoughts here and there but still being involved with what's [happening] on defense and special teams."
The Rams have remaining preseason games against Oakland, the Chargers and Green Bay to hone their strengths and work out problems before the Sept. 10 season opener against the
The team addressed a major concern on Friday when they acquired receiver Sammy Watkins in a trade with the
Watkins said he was "100% healthy" and that the foot injury that sidelined him part of last season and required surgery was "out the door."
"I just can't wait to . . . get out there and learn the offense and really get started," he said before the game.
Watkins will begin practicing on Monday.
The same probably cannot be said of star defensive lineman Donald, who has been absent since the start of training camp because of a contract dispute.
McVay and defensive coordinator Wade Phillips have downplayed how Donald's continued absence is affecting the implementation of Phillips' 3-4 defense. The Rams also lost lineman Dominque Easley for the season because of a knee injury.
The starting defensive line on Saturday featured tackle
Last year against the Cowboys, Goff played two second-quarter series, one that ended with an interception and another that ended with a sack.
On Saturday’s first play, Goff’s short pass to receiver
There wasn't much time to reflect on the three-and-out. The Cowboys fumbled the ensuing punt and Rams linebacker Josh Forrest recovered the ball at Dallas' 33-yard-line.
On second down, Goff made his best play. He faked a handoff to his right and then rolled left, finding Kupp for a 19-yard gain.
Two plays later, on third and six from the nine, Goff completed a pass to Woods on a slant route. Woods fumbled when he was hit, but Kupp recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.
That was it for Goff. He completed three of four passes for 34 yards. He gave way to Sean Mannion, who passed for three touchdowns in last year's victory over Dallas.
Mannion completed 18 of 25 passes for 144 yards.